AWN Headline News
From popular Disney titles and the Peanuts to surrealist animation
from Eastern Europe, from action-packed Japanese anime to animation
created with paper cutouts, sand, clay, puppets and computer
technology, the Facets Whole Toon Catalog is now available in the AWN
Store. Betty Boop, Fritz the Cat, Tex Avery, Looney Tunes Classics
and more animation treasures from around the world, from the silent
era to the present have also been added! Here are a few examples of
Cinar Corp. has formally fired company founders Micheline Charest and Ronald Weinberg. The couple was terminated on Thursday after a special committee of the board met to discuss the future of the troubled toon firm. Charest and Weinberg stepped down from their posts as chairman and president, respectively, as well as their co-CEO posts in March once it was discovered that US$122 million was invested in offshore accounts without board approval. They subsequently assumed the roles of company directors. As part of the misappropriation of funds, senior VP and CFO Hasanain Panju was fired.
Roy Disney has agreed to help director Richard Williams restore his masterpiece, THE THIEF AND THE COBBLER, to the version he had originally intended to make. The heart-wrenching saga of the THIEF began after Williams success on WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT? With the backing of Warner Bros., the filmmaker set out to finish his then 20 years in the making feature about a mute cobbler and an unsuccessful thief. The stipulation attached to the project was that Williams must finish the film for a 1992 release. The production fell behind schedule and Warner Bros.
Toon In is AWN's guide to what's new on the Net. This week's installment features new shorts from Stan Lee Media and Aardman Animations and much, much more.
Get your Toon In: Web Animation Guide here!
Every week AWN's associate editor Rick DeMott highlights what he thinks is the top new toon in cyberspace in "Rick's Picks!"
Rick's Pick For Friday, August 18, 2000!
Belgium-based Eyetronics, a 3D-acquisition technology company, is opening an office in Los Angeles, California. Nick Tesi, Eyetronics LA representative, said, "Eyetronics has been operating from their headquarters in Belgium since the start of operations in 1998. The 9 hour time difference has been a major drawback in communicating with our clients and prospects in the U.S. and Canada.
* Monday, September 25 Tuesday, September 26, 2000. Saint-Laurent, Canada.
The National Film Board of Canada is holding an open house of their new facilities. The event gives the public a chance to meet the filmmakers and staff. The NFB will feature screenings, studio tours and receptions on Monday from 2-6 pm and on Tuesday from 10 am 5 pm. Screening facilities will be available for visitors to screen their own work as well. For more information contact the NFB at: Tel.: (514) 283-9571 or (514) 283-9332.
Harvey Entertainment has announced their acquisition of the U.S. rights from Pearson Television International for the feature-length film A MONKEYS TALE. The film follows the story of two tribes of monkeys one tree dwelling and one ground dwelling and what happens when one curious ape falls into the other tribes world. The film recently won best animated feature at the Hollywood Film Festival and the Toronto Sun Animation Award at the Sprockets International Film Festival for Children.
As counter-programming to the Summer Olympics, the WB Network has decided to begin airing new episodes of THE PJS. The foamation toon will make its official switch from Fox to the WB in a special airing on Friday, September 8, 2000 at 8:30 pm. The Warner Bros./Imagine/Will Vinton Studios production will then join the Sunday line-up on September 10, 2000 at 8:30 pm and will move to 7 pm once the regular season starts. The Eddie Murphy-voiced toon will also have another Friday run on September 15.
Like its doomed toon brother CLERKS, SAMMY has been sacked by NBC after only airing two episodes. The network pulled the plug on the long-shelved comedian David Spade series after it was down 1.1 million views from its lackluster debut of 4.1 million. The beleaguered toon scored a dismal 1.6 rating among adults 18-49 in its Tuesday 8:30 pm time slot. The cancellation isnt much of a surprise, especially when insiders have said that the series ranked as one of the networks lowest-scoring shows in front of test audiences.
The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has handed out the primetime voice over awards. FAMILY GUY creator, Seth MacFarlane, took home the statuette for his work as twisted toddler Stewie Griffin. Julie Harris was awarded the female prize for her performance as the voice of Susan B. Anthony in PBS' NOT FOR OURSELVES ALONE: THE STORY OF ELIZABETH CADY STANTON AND SUSAN B. ANTHONY. The Emmys voice over category is a juried award, which has no nominations. The winners will be given their prizes at the creative arts portion of the Emmys being held on August 26, 2000.
In London for the sold out SIMPSONS live script reading stage show, SIMPSONS creator Matt Groening confirmed that a SIMPSONS feature is in the planning stage. Groening said, "Its a little daunting coming up with a half-hour TV episode, let alone a full-length feature. No deals have been struck, but we will do one." The television classic is now in its tenth season and is the longest running sitcom on U.S. television
New York-based Charlex was brought in by British Petroleum to give a face-lift to their image. "The challenge was to make an interesting commercial using only the British Petroleum logo," said Charlex founder and spot director Alex Weil. "It was an idea originated by BP themselves, but nobody has been able to make it sufficiently interesting until we got hold of it. As [creative director] David Fowler put it, The idea went from the trash can to Charlex. Its a good thing too.
Eyeball has woven live-action dance footage together with graphic design elements for the new PBS documentary FREE TO DANCE. "We were provided with live-action footage, which we incorporated into a stylized environment that allowed the dancers movements to be shown to best effect, taking our inspiration from classic art deco posters," said creative director Limone Shur. Designer Tatiana Arocha created the simulated spotlights, which the dancers appear in. "I began by thinking about the colors and about stage lights over dancers," said Arocha.
Smarterville, Inc., a Web-based childrens media company, announced that Peter Doctorow, former president of Knowledge Adventure, has been named as president and chief executive officer. Founder Ben Sharpe will remain as chief technology officer. "We are excited to add Peter Doctorow to our team," said Ben Sharpe, Smarterville founder and chief technology officer.
Digital Artists Agency (DAA) has signed agreements to represent Academy Award-winning visual effects supervisors Volker Engel (INDEPENDENCE DAY) and Tim McGovern (TOTAL RECALL). In addition, the company has also signed visual effects supervisor Patrick Shearn, an Emmy Award nominee for 3RD ROCK FROM THE SUN, and Eric Mises-Rosenfeld, a French national with 15 years of award-winning TV commercial and feature film experience.
* Sunday, September 24, 2000. Ottawa, Canada.
Bill Plymptons newest film "Mutant Aliens" will be screened as part of the Ottawa International Animation Festival. The event will take place at 1 pm at the National Arts Centre. The film version being screened is a work-in-progress. For more information contact the festival at: Tel.: (613) 232-8769 or Web: http://www.awn.com/ottawa/ottawa00.
TOPIX/Mad Dog was tapped to create the visual effects for the HDTV animated retelling of the Prodigal Son tale entitled, CHOICE. The 25-minute film was produced for Expo 2000s "Pavilion of Hope" in Hanover, Germany. Presented in six languages, the film started airing in June and will run until October. The project was animated by Canuck Creations in Toronto and digitally scanned, inked and painted in Viet Nam at One Shot Pro and Planet Wave. "Originally, our job was to handle the post to finish off the process and put the footage into continuous form.
The New York-based design and production studio hey! has wrapped up 22 thirty-second animations for Arista Records. Presented at Bertelsmann Music Groups marketing conference, hey! created musical sequences highlighting Arista artists Whitney Houston, Santana, Run DMC, Toni Braxton, Carly Simon, Aretha Franklin and many more. "Essentially, we have made stills of the artists come to life by creating 2D animations in inferno*.
ATTIK shot, designed and produced three 15-second spots previewing Sonys Digital Network Recorder with TiVo service. The product allows TV viewers the chance to record programs digitally while they watch something else. ATTIK creative director/designer/director Aporva Baxi said, "We enhanced the existing agency concept with dynamic animated visuals that were specifically designed to reflect the copy line of each commercial. It was also vital that the visuals appear authentic.
Long-time animation producer Zdenka Deitchova has been formally named the chief of the Bratri v Triku (Kratky Film) animation studio in Prague. Deitchova has worked as a producer at the studio for over 55 years. Deitchova commented jokingly, "It's only temporary until they find someone else!" This appointment marks the first female head in the studios illustrious history.
Animation producers/directors Don Bluth and Gary Goldman have set out to expand their DRAGONS LAIR franchise into the lands of Webtoons, next-generation video games and a feature film. Their new Web site donbluth.com will air the DRAGONS LAIR Webisodes, which will follow the not so valiant Dirk the Daring and his battles with the evil wizard, Mordrock. No release date has been set for the premiere episode. DonBluth.com will also feature animation lessons from the legendary director.
In a lackluster weekend at the U.S. box office, early reports had Sonys HOLLOW MAN and Warner Bros. SPACE COWBOYS running neck-and-neck for the top spot, but in the end MAN finished first by a nose. HOLLOW, with primary visual effects by The Ranch Entertainment, Tippett Studios and Sony Imageworks, held on to first place, adding US$13.05 million to its $50.3 million cume. COWBOYS, with primary visual effects by ILM, moved up a spot to settle for second and a gross of $13.02 million, bringing its 10-day cume to $39.02 million.